Digital Utopias, which took place at Hull Truck Theatre earlier this week, was a one-day conference which aimed to inspire and incite debate about how new technologies are enabling creativity across the arts. The conference set out to capture topical and diverse approaches to curation, archiving, collecting and creating from a range of art forms, from the visual arts to theatre.
Last year we commissioned a research study, from economists Daniel Fujiwara and George MacKerron, examining how different arts and cultural institutions affect levels of happiness. Richard Russell, our Director of Policy and Research, blogs about the results, which we've just published.
Our Midlands Area Director, Peter Knott, tells us how we need to share our stories in order to keep making the case for public investment in arts and culture.
I think we would all agree that we are working in a time of economic challenge, but opportunities, possibilities and above all a positive future remain obtainable. These are extraordinary times and we need to find extraordinary solutions.
Theatre-maker and writer, Lucy Neal is working on a handbook mapping creative practices that inspire a sustainable future. Here she describes a residency with other artists at the Arvon Foundation retreat. Playing For Time is funded by Arts Council England and Transition Network, in partnership with Arvon, the Centre for Alternative Technology and the new economics foundation.
Last week I attended two presentations given to Arts Council England Relationship Managers by Catherine Langabeer, Operations Director at Julie's Bicycle. Her talk focused on the background to why Sustainability matters, what the arts council is asking of organisations and how Julie’s Bicycle helps to deliver this.
Unfortunately the catalyst for collaboration across our sector has often been finance rather than creative zeal. As the current context demonstrates, faced with future financial austerity we are once again attempting to co-operate across and within arts forms (and with the Arts Council) to get our financial arguments heard in government rather than to fully embrace collaborative working as a long-term organisational development strategy.